MCPD: ASP.Net Developer 3.5;MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, ADO.NET Applications
26 Apr to 12 May 2010
I had a myriad of incredible experiences while in Goa and one thing is certain for me about Koenig Solutions: (in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger) ”I'll be back!"...
I searched around for places to study in my local area but they were all far too expensive. It may have been alright if a company was sending me on programming courses but I was paying for this myself. I also searched for online courses but they were also overpriced and I knew from experience that I would get far more out of face-to-face training than by sitting alone reading through books and online tutorials.
When I first saw the prices on Koenig's website I was amazed and thought to myself "Ok, what's the catch?"… and then I found it: Koenig Solutions is in India! Oh well, never mind. I continued searching for local courses. Then I thought about it some more and did some calculations and searched for flight costs and then ...WHAT!? - For me to fly to India, study for the three weeks of my courses, including all accommodation expenses, tuition, books, exam fees, food, etc. is actually FAR cheaper than to do these courses in the UK! AND I get to go to INDIA!
I was a little apprehensive at first because as I have never been to India before I wasn't sure how easy it was going to be to organise but my apprehension was soon nullified by the professionalism and attention to detail with which the sales rep at Koenig dealt with all my queries.
I received the study material in advance and read through all of it and completed as much of the lab-work as I could before leaving for India. I found this approach very useful because it meant that rather than covering the material for the first time, I was able to re-enforce the knowledge as well as ask questions that I may not have thought to ask if I was covering the content for the first time while in class.
This was an approach to all types of study that I learned to be effective many years ago while at university. I also built a few projects of my own based on what I was reading about in order to get some basic experience. There were other people on the course with me that had not seen the content before and they did just fine too.
From the moment I landed in Goa until I departed again I was totally looked after. One of the truly great benefits of this boot camp is that I literally had only one thing to focus on: learning. For 3 weeks there was no wife, no children, no work, no cooking, no cleaning, and no distractions. I was sharing an apartment with two other guys who I met on the course. They were also very dedicated to learning and we supported each other in our evening studies.
A typical day for me was to wake at 6 am, study for two hours, shower and breakfast, classes from 9 until 1, lunch for 30 minutes, tan on the beach for 30 mins while reading course material, back to class until 5pm, swim in the sea and relax for an hour or so, study, eat, study, skype the family, then carry on studying until about 1 or 2 am then up again at 6 am for another day. Sounds hectic but once I got into the boot camp rhythm I found it really satisfying and was able to absorb and retain an incredible amount of learning. Of course I did have some fun as well while I was there. It's great to rent a scooter and explore the countryside on a day off and take a boat out to an offshore island.
Most impressive was the training itself. As someone who has worked in a training environment in the UK I am accustomed to all the usual training buzzwords and hip tricks to try and make training interesting to disinterested employees. None of that at Koenig - no need. It was really refreshing to focus on the course content with me being keen to learn and my trainers being keen to teach me. My trainers real-world knowledge of the subject matter was astounding, as was their ability to relate the content to me through analogy and examples drawn from their own work experience. They were also really flexible for example there were times where I would say that I understand this and I understand that but I'm not sure how I would relate these in the real world and the usual response would be, "Let's build a project!". Excellent, guys. Thanks!
The course I completed was Microsoft Certified Professional Developer - ASP.NET 3.5 (C#). I had allowed for a few days extra after my course to relax but after I passed my last exam I immediately signed up for another course - MCTS ADO.NET 3.5. I figured "I'm here and I'm in study mode so why not?” The staff at Koenig was very flexible and accommodating and arranged this for me at short notice. I passed this exam too and so returned home with more qualifications than I had intended to obtain - and a sun tan!
I had a myriad of incredible experiences while in Goa and one thing is certain for me about Koenig Solutions: (in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger) ”I'll be back!"